Muses, in Greek religion and mythology, patron goddesses of the arts, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Originally only three, they were later considered as nine. Calliope was the Muse of epic poetry and eloquence Euterpe, of music or of lyric poetry Erato, of the poetry of love Polyhymnia (or Polymnia), of oratory or sacred poetry Clio, of history Melpomene, of tragedy Thalia, of comedy Terpsichore, of choral song and dance Urania, of astronomy. Some say that Apollo was their leader. Early places of their worship were the district of Pieria, in Thessaly, where they were often called Pierides, and Mt. Helicon, in Boeotia. The springs of Castalia, Aganippe, and Hippocrene were sacred to them.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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